Chair established at Hood Seminary
On May 14, during the Hood Theological Seminary Commencement Ceremony, Dr. Albert J.D.Aymer, seminary president, announced the establishment of The Bishop and Mrs. George E. Battle Jr. distinguished Professorial Chair in Old Testament Language and Literature.
“This is the first endowed chair in Hood’s history and it is appropriate that our first endowed chair should honor one of the AME Zion Church’s most prominent and current bishops, Bishop George Edward Battle Jr. and his beloved wife, Iris Battle. His service to his church and to this region has been exemplary, and sets a high standard for others to follow” said Aymer. Battle serves as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Hood Theological Seminary.
Professor and Dean of Students Dr. Dora R. Mbuwayesango, the longest serving fulltime member of the teaching faculty of the seminary, was named to the professorial chair position.
In naming Mbuwayesango, Aymer, said, “She has long been a productive scholar in her academic discipline and has worked to advance the purpose and mission of the seminary. Dr. Mbuwayesango has enhanced richly the presence and role of the seminary in the wider community.”
Prominent business and civic leaders in the Charlotte area and Bishop George E. Battle Jr. contributed to the fund to endow a professorial chair at Hood Theological Seminary. The income stream from the endowment earnings will be used to help underwrite the salary of the professor chosen for this distinction.
When announcing the professorial chair, Aymer also paid tribute to Board of Trustee member Charles Davidson and his wife, Joanne, for their role in helping to raise the funding for the chair from friends of Bishop and Mrs. Battle.
Bishop Battle has distinguished himself both in his service to his church and to the larger community. He is the founder of the Battle Corporation and the Greater Enrichment Program, and serves on the boards of many business and civic organizations, including the Metro-Charlotte Advisory Board of Wachovia Bank, now the Wells Fargo Board; the board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the board of Carolinas Healthcare Systems, the board of Central Piedmont Community college, and Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Johnson C. Smith University.
He served for 17 years as a board member and six years as chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Bishop Battle is a graduate of Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary. He has an earned a doctorate from Howard University. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Hood Seminary. He also holds honorary doctorates from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Clinton Junior College, two from Livingstone College and Queens College. He is the Presiding Bishop of the North Eastern Episcopal District of the AME Zion Church. His wife, Iris M. Battle, is the Missionary Supervisor of that district.